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DepEd releases safety action points to prepare employees for disasters

posted May 30, 2011, 2:07 AM by Michelle Garcia

Recognizing the series of disasters that hit some parts of the world, the Department of Education Central Office through an office order, encouraged all its employees to internalize and comply with the Ten Action Points towards preparedness and safety.

Undersecretary for Finance and Administration Francisco Varela said that knowledge on these action points will save lives and prevent further damages and casualties. “Knowledge is the key to all these. We should know every single step before, during, and after a calamity. We hope that our field offices, including the schools will also do measures like this so that we do not only save our lives but we can also save the millions of children entrusted under our care.”

These include the wearing of the prescribed uniform and identification cards while in the DepEd compound; the recordkeeping for time in and time out of DepEd employees synchronized with the Daily Time Record (DTR); and the usage of only approved devices and equipment in the workplace.

The order also mentioned that the employees should practice the habit of proper maintenance and safekeeping of office equipment, machines, and the necessary tools; to make it a habit to save files in the computer every ten minutes; to report to the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Committee any hazardous condition that may cause death, illness, or physical harm or injury to the employees in the workplace; and to know where to get help during emergency situations.

Moreover, all are expected to comply with all the safeguards and safety regulations for the employees’ protection and that of his/her co-workers; to familiarize one’s self with the work environment, location of exits or evacuation routes, and to participate and cooperate in drills and exercises and be cautious of others’ welfare by practicing the principles of the buddy system.

In order to concretize this initiative, the DepEd conducted a fire and earthquake drill to create an atmosphere of preparedness and safety among DepEd employees.

Over a thousand employees of the department stopped the operations of their respective offices on Monday, May 16, and ran outside buildings upon hearing the fire alarm. Minutes later, mock injuries and casualties were immediately brought to the first aid station located at DepEd open grounds. Some of the employees stayed at the evacuation site, while a fire truck and an ambulance arrived few minutes later.

Varela said that the conduct of the fire and earthquake drill is important since this will teach DepEd employees the proper knowledge on what to do when these calamities occur.

The activity is very timely. Considering the damage and adverse impact of disasters to lives and properties, the department deemed it appropriate to establish a mindset of preparedness and safety to all employees in dealing with both natural and man-made hazards,” Varela added.

Shortly after the buildings were “cleared,” fire rescuers conducted a fire smothering demonstration.

 

Participants were taught on how to hold and use the fire extinguishers and were made to try to extinguish the fire in the right manner.

This initiative was organized by the OSH Committee. Its task is to ensure the safety of all DepEd officials and employees through the development of accident prevention programs and identification of all hazards in each workplace.

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